Microsoft and IBM Unveil New XML Web Services Specification

SOMERS, N.Y., and REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 1, 2001 — Continuing their joint work to further the XML Web services family of interoperability specifications, IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced the Web Services Inspection (WS-Inspection) specification. The WS-Inspection specification defines how an application can discover an XML Web service description on a Web server, enabling developers to easily browse Web servers for XML Web services. WS-Inspection complements the IBM- and Microsoft-pioneered Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) global directory technology by facilitating the discovery of available services on Web sites unlisted in the UDDI registries, and builds on Microsoft’s SOAP Discovery technology built into Microsoft® Visual Studio® .NET. IBM and Microsoft expect to submit WS-Inspection to an appropriate standards body.

“IBM is committed to driving the advancement of Web services technologies,” said Bob Sutor, director of e-business standards strategy at IBM. “WS-Inspection is another key specification in the Web services framework, enabling developers to present references to services that are both easy to maintain and consume.”

“Building on the SOAP Discovery technology Microsoft built into Visual Studio .NET, WS-Inspection is a natural extension of the Microsoft Global XML Web Services Architecture,” said Philip DesAutels, product manager of XML Web services strategy at Microsoft. “The joint work between IBM and Microsoft to create WS-Inspection will make it much easier for developers to work with XML Web services.”

As a method for XML Web service discovery, WS-Inspection provides the following:

  • A standard way to locate and retrieve Web Services Description Language (WSDL) documents and other service descriptions by browsing a single Web server

  • The capability for XML Web service providers to group sets of related service descriptions, enabling interested parties to determine which descriptions are related to particular services

  • A way to correlate XML Web services with other types of content, such as HTML pages. For example, a browser may download an HTML page that has corresponding XML Web services of which both the user and the browser environment need to be made aware

WS-Inspection implementations are available with the latest version of the IBM Web Services ToolKit (WSTK) 2.4.1 and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. The WSTK can be downloaded free from IBM’s alphaWorks Web site at . Complementary articles on WS-Inspection can be found on IBM’s developerWorks Web Services zone at . SOAP Discovery is built into Visual Studio .NET today, and the WS-Inspection capabilities for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET can be downloaded free from the MSDN® Web site at

About IBM

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About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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